I find it funny when people ask me questions about beauty products or what I do to keep my skin clear and in good shape. Sometimes when I shake people’s hands they’ll tell me I have unusually soft hands. Or whenever I get a mani/pedi the ladies always tell me how nice my feet are and how soft my skin is. A lady on the T actually stopped me one summer and told me I had “really nice feet”, which instead of being flattered, I got creeped out that she was even looking at my feet long enough to realize they were “nice”. Thankfully, my stop was next and I quickly exited the train
I find all of these questions to be funny because the truth is, I really don’t do a whole heck of a lot when it comes to keeping my skin in good condition. It’s something I don’t even think about too often. I take a less is more approach to beauty. I’ve found that the more fragrance and gunk I pile on my skin, the worse off it is. So years ago I decided to keep it simple when it comes to beauty products. But the real truth is, I actually kind of despise taking a long time primping and pride myself on the fact that I can get ready to go just about anywhere, work, weddings, events, etc., in under 20 minutes. It’s sort of my thing. I have my routine down to a science and the best part? I keep it cheap and I don’t feel guilty if I splurge once in a while on my Kiehl’s lotions or Chanel eye makeup
In no particular order, here are my favorite inexpensive beauty products:
Yes. Vaseline. It’s been one of my go-to products since forever. When we were younger my mom would put a thin layer on our faces before we went out to play in the cold to prevent wind burn. Ever since, I’ve sworn by the stuff. I use it on dry patches of skin, in place of lipgloss, and a huge secret, every night before bed I put a very thin layer of it on my face, in the corners of my eyes, and around my nose. It might sound kind of gross, but my sister and I swear by this! It keeps my face well-moustrized while I sleep. On the nights where I forget to use it I can definitely tell a difference when I wake up since my face feels tight and dry. The first facial I ever got a couple year ago, the aesthetician told me I had “the perfect amount of oils on my face”. I debated on whether or not I should share my secret with her in fear she might yell at me and say I shouldn’t put vaseline on my face! I ended up telling her and she said that’s probably why my skin was so balanced! Woop. You just have to remember not to glob it on since you don’t want to completely clog everything. If you have oily skin, this might not be the trick for you, but if you have little dry patches or combination skin, using petroleum jelly could be the fix you’re looking for.
Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream
Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream is one of my favorite products and has been for about the past 10 years. I have eczema (wonderful topic to discuss on a food blog, yeah?), and when and if I run into a situation where my prescription cream runs out or I just want to give myself a break from it, I buy this cream. It’s really the only thing that works as well as my prescription to fight itchy spots. I’ve found that for under $10, this is one product I can’t live without.
Okay, so bear with me. The above photo is of a mustache/beard scissors and comb set. No, I don’t have a mustache or beard. Go me. But I use this set to trim my eyebrows. I promise you they’re the best tools you can have when you don’t have time to get your brows waxed and for under $5 they’re quite a steal. I don’t even know how I decided to buy the set, but it’s been in my bathroom vanity for years and I use them all the time. Using the comb, I brush my eyebrows up (you’ll probably look a little crazy after doing this, but it’s cool). When you brush all the hairs up, you’ll see which are uneven and above the “natural line”. That’s in quotes because I don’t know if it’s an actual term in the eyebrow waxing/tweezing world. I guess at these things half the time because they sound right. I use the top of the comb as a guide and use the scissors to trim the uneven hairs. This is my favorite little secret. I once saw my sister immediately after doing this and she was all “OMG, who did your eyebrows?! They look sooooo good”. She nearly fell over when I said I did them myself. And for the record, my sister doesn’t really say “OMG”. I can see her emailing me after reading this saying I made her sound like a ditz
Bright and Shine Lux Glossing Spray
Every once in a while, especially if you’re a brown lady like myself, you need a little gloss/shine/pick-me-up kind of sheen added to your hair. The problem is, most sprays add build up and extra weight to your tresses. Or they smell weird. The salon where I get my hair blown-out uses Alter Ego Hasty Bright and Shine Lux Glossing Spray after blowdrying it and I’ve been loving it. I loved it so much that I asked if they sold it and, to my surprise, they did. I bought a bottle for $13.50 but just discovered, if you do a little digging, you can get it for less on Amazon, naturally. It adds the nicest shine without weighing my hair down. Plus, it smells delightful. The last time I saw my sister she asked what I was using because my hair looked and smelled so lovely. As you can tell, all my sister and I do is talk about beauty products. It’s kind of our hobby.
Mmm, olive oil. Not just for cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love me my Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish that I discovered recently, but before that I always relied on olive oil. Making my own body scrubs is one of my most favorite activities. Mostly because I’m just proud of myself for not spending $30+ on a scrub elsewhere when in reality it’s the same thing. I feel kind of cool whipping up my own concoctions. I usually mix some olive oil and some sugar. Or I’ll do sea salt if I’m looking for a coarser scrub. If I want to get fancy I’ll add in some peppermint or lavender oil. Just be extra careful when you’re showering because the olive oil can make things slippery. Read more about my homemade body scrubs here.
I think part of the reason I get awkward compliments on my feet is because I pumice and scrub the heck out of them when I shower. Pumice stones are generally just a few dollars at any drugstore and are probably one of the most necessary tools to keep your feet in shape.
I don’t clutter my shower by with fancy loofahs or brushes. A simple facecloth (or washcloth? Whatever you want to call it!) works just fine for me to scrub away. Since my skin is so sensitive all of the other things are often too rough anyway.
I keep a nailbrush in my shower or on my bathroom sink at all times and scrub my cuticles and fingernails like there’s no tomorrow. I even use it on my toe toes sometimes. There’s nothing I love more than clean feet and hands! I also don’t know why I’ve used the phrase “toe toes” twice in one week on the blog.
EOS Lip Spheres
I just wrote about EOS lip spheres in my holiday gift guide, but I must reiterate. This is my most favorite product in life. I’m probably exaggerating a tad but it’s a top 5, for sure. Before I put any gloss on, I use this as the base and I swear it’s the secret to silky smooth lips. I mostly use the lip spheres alone since I never feel the need to add anything else on. It adds a nice subtle shine and protection that lasts all day. I haven’t had chapped lips in fo’evaaaa. Plus, it has SPF in it so that’s an added bonus!
What are your favorite inexpensive beauty products? Do you have any beauty secrets people would be surprised to learn? I’m actually kind of oddly intrigued by people who use mayonnaise in their beauty regimens. Anyone?